By Monty Campbell
The Cove Herald
What can’t Copperas Cove’s very own Robert Griffin, III do? If he was in possession of a Class ‘C’ drivers license he would be able to drive the team bus too but at the present time fans and teammates alike must appreciate what he can do on the athletic field.
After quarterbacking the Bulldawgs to their first ever state championship football game last season against Alamo Heights, the Cove phenom led the Bulldawg track team to a Class 4A state championship in track and field with record-setting, gold medal performances in the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles and by anchoring the 1,600 relay team to a silver medal.
Griffin continued to exhibit his superior athletic abilities as he led the 12 Five Hills Track and Field Jack Rabbits with gold medals in the 400-meter and 110-meter hurdles, during the XLI Junior Olympic Games in Knoxville, TN.
He opened his gold winning performances by setting a new national record in the young men’s 400-meter hurdles in the Junior Olympics, besting his preliminary mark of 50.07 seconds with a time of 49.56 seconds, Aug. 1. His preliminary time of 50.07 broke the 20-year record time of 50.97 set in 1987 by Ralph Carrington of Austin.
Five Hills and Bulldawg teammate Troy Vital finished third, closely behind Lee Moore of Cordova, TN, with a time of 52.11 seconds.
According to Track and Field News — the bible of the sport since 1948 — Griffin’s time of 49.56 was just .18 seconds shy of the World Record time for high school athletes of 49.38 set by Kenneth Ferguson of Detroit, MI in 2002.
Griffin concluded his gold medal performances by picking breezing past the competition and claiming the 110-meter hurdles title with a time of 13.46 seconds, nearly a half second ahead of silver medalist Charlton Rolle of Winston-Salem, NC.
Gatesville’s Reggie Clark continued the Central Texas dominance of the meet by capturing the Boys Youth Triple Jump with a distance of 41-6. Clark’s nearest competitor Shai Carpenter of Greenville, SC finished a mere 3/4 of an inch behind for the silver and Erek Drew (Oswego, IL) picked up the bronze with a distance of 41-1.
Steffin McCarter continued making a name for himself in his young career by claiming the bronze medal in the bantam boys 100-meter dash with a time of 13.15 seconds.
Takehra Jones joined her fellow Central Texans at the Junior Olympics and performed exemplary. She finished fourth in the primary girls 100-meter dash (14.81 seconds) and followed that performance up with a 10th-place finish in the primary girls long jump (10-7 3/4).
Cove’s Anthony Mackey and Tyesha McFarlin also qualified for the Junior Olympics and finished ninth and 11th in the intermediate boys’ discus (133-9) and young women’s triple jump (36-2) respectively.
Other local competitors in Knoxville were Steven White, 7th-place, intermediate boys 400-meter hurdles, 57.72 seconds and Daniel Mundle, 30th-place, young men 3,000-meter run, 10:16.19.
Contact Monty Campbell at email@example.com or call (254) 547-9173.